About the Decade of Centenaries programme
Funded by The Executive Office, our Decade of Centenaries Programme commemorates a decade of key historical moments and events between 1912 and 1922 that shaped Northern Ireland and Ireland.
We have been awarded funding from the Shared History Fund, which The National Lottery Heritage Fund is delivering on behalf of the Northern Ireland Office to deliver a number of projects to mark Northern Ireland’s centenary year.
These projects, which fall under our Decade of Centenaries programme, are:
- a drama and animation programme, including a re-enactment of the King’s speech in the Council Chamber on 22 June 2021, exactly 100 years to the day that the Northern Ireland Parliament was opened by King George V
- the conservation of two chairs, currently in the Council Chamber at City Hall which were used by King George V and Queen Mary at the inauguration of the Northern Ireland Parliament
- a digital trail of artefacts and stories relating to 1921
- Lord Mayor’s time capsule project for younger residents
- a Decade of Centenaries conference, scheduled for March 2022
These events and projects form part of our wider Decade of Centenaries programme, running until March 2022. To be kept up to date on the full programme as it is confirmed, you can sign up to receive our monthly Good Relations emails.
The King's Speech
On 22 June 1921, King George V opened Northern Ireland’s first parliament at Belfast City Hall.
As part of an event to mark the centenary of this historic moment, Terra Nova Productions worked with young people throughout the city to create a new play, marking Northern Ireland’s centenary year.
The video (link opens in new window) was created as part of our Decade of Centenaries programme. Funded by The Executive Office, this programme commemorates a decade of key historical moments and events between 1912 and 1922 that shaped Northern Ireland and Ireland during this time.
We have also been awarded funding from the Shared History Fund, which The National Lottery Heritage Fund is delivering on behalf of the Northern Ireland Office, to deliver a number of projects to mark Northern Ireland’s centenary year.
Reflections on the past 100 years
This varied programme of online content showcases some of our best local talent and brings the city’s history to life through a range of different mediums. This content originally formed part of the Belfast May Day Weekender programme.
Panel discussion: 100 years of Northern Ireland
This panel discussion, hosted by well-known local broadcaster, Tara Mills, looked at the last one hundred years from a range of different perspectives.
Panellists for the session were:
- Lord Paul Bew, Chair of the Northern Ireland Office Centenary Historical Advisory Panel
- Prof Mary E Daly, University College Dublin and Royal Irish Academy
- Prof Thomas Hennessey, Professor of Modern British and Irish History, Canterbury Christchurch University
- Dr Marie Coleman, School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics, Queen's University Belfast
- Dr Seán Byers, Researcher at Trademark Belfast and author of a number of pieces on trade unions, economic and political strategies
You can watch a recording of the panel discussion on YouTube (link opens in new window)
Violence, Conflict, Militarisation and Displacement virtual conference
Between July 1920 and September 1922, Belfast experienced a series of outbreaks of rioting, violence and killing, resulting in huge loss of life and displacement of people from neighbourhoods across the city.
In October 1920, the Ulster Special Constabulary was founded and by 1922, the A, B and C specials numbered 32,000. On 22 June 1922, the RUC was founded.
This was a significant period in the city of Belfast’s history. Our ‘Violence, Conflict, Militarisation and Displacement’ conference was originally planned for spring 2020, as part of our Decades of Centenaries programme, but was cancelled as a result of COVID restrictions. The videos feature the speakers who were due to address the conference. There is also a panel discussion featuring all of the speakers.
Watch the Violence, Conflict, Militarisation and Displacement conference